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Saturday, April 10, 2010

I wouldn't hold my breath!!!!!

Dan Ephron
Will Israeli feud with Washington unravel Netanyahu's coalition?
Palistine Stands a chance of a two state solution? I won't hold my breath waiting.
darn that is scary shit.

The Obama Adminstration in order of succession to the Presidency:

Jewish Ancestory

Vice President of the United States Joseph R. Biden

Department of StateSecretary Hillary Rodham Clinton (Jew )

Department of the TreasurySecretary Timothy F. Geithner (Jew)

Department of DefenseSecretary Robert M. Gates

Department of JusticeAttorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Department of the InteriorSecretary Kenneth L. Salazar

Department of AgricultureSecretary Thomas J. Vilsack

Department of CommerceSecretary Gary F. Locke

Department of LaborSecretary Hilda L. Solis

Department of Health and Human ServicesSecretary Kathleen Sebelius

Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentSecretary Shaun L.S. Donovan

Department of TransportationSecretary Raymond L. LaHood

Department of EnergySecretary Steven Chu

Department of Veterans AffairsSecretary Eric K. Shinseki

Department of Homeland SecuritySecretary Janet A. Napolitano (Jew)

Positions with the Status of Cabinet-rank:

Council of Economic AdvisersChairman Christina Romer (Jewish husband)

Environmental Protection AgencyAdministrator Lisa P. Jackson

Office of Management & Budget
Director Peter R. Orszag (Jew)

United States Trade RepresentativeAmbassador Ronald Kirk

United States Ambassador to the United NationsAmbassador Susan Rice

White House Staff Rahm Emanuel

Deputy Chiefs of Staff
Jim Messina
Mona Sutphen

Senior Advisors
David Axelrod
Valerie Jarrett

Barack Obama's Economic Team

Federal Reserve System
Chairman, Benjamin Bernanke (Jew)
Vice Chairman, Donald Kohn (Jew)

National Economic Council
Chairman, Lawrence Summers (Jew)

Economic Recovery Advisory Board
Chairman, Paul Volcker (Jew)

Chief Economist and Economic Adviser
Vice President, Jared Bernstein (Jew)

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Chairman, Gary Gensler (Jew)

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Chairman, Mary Schapiro (Jew)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Chairman, Sheila Bair (Jew)

Small Business Administration (SBA)
Administrator, Karen Mills (Jew)

Other Executive Positions include:

IRS Commissioner
Douglas Shulman (Jew)

Federal Communications Commission
Chairman, Julius Genachowski (Jew)

Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Chairman, Eric Lander (Jew)

TARP Executive Compensation
Special Master Ken Feinberg (Jew)

Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Richard Holbrooke (Jew)

President's Automotive Task Force
Senior Advisor, Ron Bloom (Jew)

Dept. of Homeland Security
Special Representative for Border Affairs, Alan Bersin (Jew)

Special Envoy for Climate Change
Todd Stern (Jew)

Advisor to the President and the Vice President on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Issues
Lynn Rosenthal (Jew)

US Department of State
Special Envoy Guantanamo, Daniel Fried (Jew)

Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran)
Dennis Ross (Jew)

Office of Management and Budget
United States Chief Performance Officer and Deputy Director for Management, Jeffrey D. Zients (Jew)

Office of Management and Budget
Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein (Jew)

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Director, John P. Holdren (Jew)

White House Medical Czar
Ezekiel Emanuel (Jew)

Richard Haass (Jew)

Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden
Ron Klain (Jew)

Deputy Secretaries of State
Jacob Lew (Jew)
James Steinberg (Jew)

Deputy White House Chief of Staff
Mona Sutphen (Jew)

Federal Trade Commission
Chairman, Jon Leibowitz (Jew)

Food and Drug Administration
Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg (Jew)

Link Here
New List of Jews in Congress
NEW YORK (JTA)— The following is a list of the 45 Jewish members —14 senators and 32 representatives — who will serve in the 111th U.S. Congress that convenes in January:


Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)

Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.)

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Al Franken (D-Minn.)

Ted Kaufman (D-DE.) Replaced Biden.

Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)

Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)

Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)

Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Arlen Specter (R-Pa.)

Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)


Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)

John Adler (D-N.J.)*

Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)

Howard Berman (D-Calif.)

Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.)

Susan Davis (D-Calif.)

Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)

Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)

Bob Filner (D-Calif.)

Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

Jane Harman (D-Calif.)

Paul Hodes (D-N.H.)

Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)

Steve Kagen (D-Wisc.)

Ron Klein (D-Fla.)

Sander Levin (D-Mich.)

Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)

Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)

Jared Polis (D-Colo.)*

Steve Rothman (D-N.J.)

Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)

Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

Robert Wexler (D-Fla.)

John Yarmuth (D-Ky.)

* Elected to Congress for the first time

[H/T- Jaybird]

Alleged Corruption Surrounds Karzai

By Michael Isikoff, Ron Moreau, and Sami Yousafzai
Last fall President Obama made what may be his most agonizing decision yet, sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. But now White House officials are making little secret about how exasperated they are with the erratic behavior of the country's president, Hamid Karzai. After Karzai suggested last week that he might join the Taliban if the U.S. and other Western nations keep dictating how his government should be run, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president may scrap a planned meeting between the two leaders next month. One big issue lurking behind the spat: an ever more tense confrontation regarding alleged corruption within Karzai's inner circle.
With American backing, a special anti-corruption unit of the Afghan attorney general's office has been developing cases against as many as 17 senior Afghan political figures, many of them with close ties to Karzai. One, the former mining minister, is under investigation for allegedly receiving about $10 million in kickbacks from a Chinese company that was awarded a copper concession. (The minister says he's not guilty.) But the unit's first big test case involves Mohammad Siddiq Chakari, the ex-minister of the hajj and religious affairs. Karzai appointed him to the post last year as part of a deal to get support for reelection from key political figures, including Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former leader of the Northern Alliance, who also happens to be Chakari's father-in-law. Another former top Alliance official was Chakari's business partner.

Pakistan May Have Secretly Freed Captured Taliban Leaders

U.S. officials say Pakistani spy agency released Afghan Taliban insurgents

By Greg MillerWashington Post Staff Writer Sunday, April 11, 2010
The recent capture of the Afghan Taliban's second in command seemed to signal a turning point in Pakistan, an indication that its intelligence agency had gone from helping the militant Islamist group to cracking down on it.
But U.S. officials now think that even as Pakistan's security forces worked with their American counterparts to detain Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other insurgents, the country's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI, quietly freed at least two senior Afghan Taliban figures it had captured on its own.
U.S. military and intelligence officials said the releases, detected by American spy agencies but not publicly disclosed, are evidence that parts of Pakistan's security establishment continue to support the Afghan Taliban. This assistance underscores how complicated the CIA-ISI relationship remains at a time when the United States and Pakistan are battling insurgencies that straddle the Afghanistan border and are increasingly anxious about how the war in that country will end.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity and declined to identify the Taliban figures who were released, citing the secrecy surrounding U.S. monitoring of the ISI. But officials said the freed captives were high-ranking Taliban members the United States would want in custody.
The capture of Baradar was "positive, any way you slice it," said a U.S. counterterrorism official. "But it doesn't mean they've cut ties at every level to each and every group." Initial reports said the arrest was made in February, but U.S. officials say that it occurred in late January.
U.S. officials think that Pakistan continues to pursue a hedging strategy in seeking to maintain relationships with an array of entities -- including the U.S. and Afghan governments, as well as insurgent networks -- struggling to shape the outcome in Afghanistan, even as it aggressively battles the Pakistani branch of the Taliban. LinkHere

Obama: Tax refunds up 10 percent due to stimulus

US President Barack Obama on Saturday stressed the importance of tax benefits offered by his 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan that was enacted last year in the hope of boosting the US economy.
Administration officials say one-third of the stimulus package, known as the Recovery Act, is made up of tax cuts that have already provided more than 160 billion dollars in relief for families and businesses.
"It's been a tough couple years for America," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "But the economy is growing again. Companies are beginning to hire again. We are rewarding work and helping more of our people reach for the American Dream again."
He pointed out that Americans who had already filed their taxes have discovered that the average refund was up nearly 10 percent this year - to an all-time high of about 3,000 dollars and it was due in large part to the Recovery Act.
People who bought a home for the first time last year are eligible for a tax credit of up to 8,000 dollars. And those who bought a new car last year could deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid on that purchase, the president said.
Story continues below...

How soon they forget the last horrific 8 years under the Bush Cheney Regime!!!!!!!

On Wednesday night, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Sean Hannity that he’s been tasked by the House Republican leadership to “to organize an effort over the next four or five months to develop a [new] compact or contract [with America].” On previous occasions, Gingrich has made clear that a staple of that new contract with will be to repeal health care reform.
In a speech last night at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Gingrich delivered an address that was touted to the press as a strategy for how the GOP can become “the party of Yes.” Instead, Gingrich –- the author of a forthcoming book titled To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine — explained his strategy of obstruction in further detail.
Since more Republicans are conceding the full repeal of health reform is unlikely to occur on President Obama’s watch, Gingrich offered a two-tiered approach that is becoming increasingly popular among conservatives:
Here’s my promise: … When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. […]
Once upon a time, I used to be Speaker of the House and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is, under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. If EPA gets not budget, it can’t enforce cap-and-trade. […]
So Stage One of Obamaism being gone is to simply win this fall and not fund it for two years. Stage Two is…to ensure Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one-party presidents (sic). And, that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.
Gingrich’s remarks were met with roars of approval from the right-wing crowd. LinkHere

Why ‘Obamanomics’ is working: Ignore polls, watch the markets: Economy is perking up

Source: Business Week

The U.S. manufacturing sector has expanded for eight straight months, the Business Roundtable's measure of CEO optimism reached its highest level since early 2006, and in March the economy added 162,000 jobs — more than it had during any month in the past three years. "There is more business confidence out there," says Boeing CEO Jim McNerney. "This Administration deserves significant credit."

It is worth stepping back to consider, in cool-headed policy terms, how all of this came to be — and whether the Obama team's approach amounts to a set of successful emergency measures or a new economic philosophy: Obamanomics.

For most of the past two decades, the reigning economic approach in Democratic circles has been Rubinomics, a set of priorities fashioned in the 1990s by Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin, the former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs. Broadly, Rubinomics was a three-legged stool consisting of restrained government spending, lower budget deficits, and open trade, which were meant in combination to reassure financial markets, keep capital flowing, and thus put the country on a path to prosperity. LinkHere

Ex-Members of U.S. Military Were Members of Hutaree Militia Extremist Group

Source: Newsweek

Posted Friday, April 09, 2010 6:29 PM

Michael Isikoff

Federal investigators have discovered that two members of the extremist Michigan-based Hutaree militia group charged with plotting to assassinate law-enforcement officers are former U.S. military servicemen, including a Marine Corps corporal who was a Persian Gulf War veteran and decorated expert rifleman.

Among those charged in the Hutaree case and accused of "seditious" conspiracy to wage war is Michael David Meeks. An FBI official told NEWSWEEK that Meeks is a former Marine. Marine Corps records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show Meeks served in the Marines between 1988 and 1992 and was a rifle expert based at Camp Pendleton. The records show he received, among other decorations, a Kuwait Liberation Medal that was awarded to veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

His lawyer did not return a request for comment.

Another Hutaree member charged in the case was Kristopher Tyler Sickles, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2007 and was discharged in October of that year after being absent without leave, according to Army records. His lawyer also did not return a call seeking comment. Sickles was identified as the creator of a violent video mimicking jihadist beheadings that was on YouTube but has been removed.

US Received 8.5% Return From Bailouts: Report

Source: CNBC Reuters

U.S. taxpayers earned an annualized 8.5 percent return from the government's bailout of 49 financial firms, underscoring efforts by the industry to speed up repayments and warrant repurchases, according to a report by SNL Financial.

Firms such as Citigroup , which still has common shares held by the U.S. Treasury Department, and rivals that have made partial redemptions were excluded from the analysis, SNL Financial said in a statement Monday.

Proceeds from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) warrant repurchases and auctions led to a surge in returns through March 30, SNL said.

So far, since the start of the program in late 2008, 64 institutions have fully repaid government aid.

Polish president, 96 others killed in jet crash

Crash occurred in dense fog; pilot ignored directions to land elsewhere

Presidential plane carrying close to 100, including many government officials, goes down in Russia.
Video: Fog may have been to blame
After the tragedy: What's next for Poland?

US President Barack Obama offered condolences to Poland Saturday, mourning the "devastating" death of President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of other top officials in a fiery plane crash.
Obama said he called Prime Minister Donald Tusk to express his and his wife Michelle's "deepest condolences to the people of Poland on the tragic deaths this morning of President Lech Kaczynski, First Lady Maria Kaczynski and all who were traveling with them to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre."
Obama described the loss as "devastating to Poland, to the United States and to the world."
The plane carrying much of the country's military and state elite crashed in thick fog in western Russia on Saturday killing all 96 people on board.
The aging Russian jet was taking Kaczynski and his wife, the military chief of staff and other senior military officers, the central bank governor, deputy foreign minister, members of parliament and other senior officials to a ceremony for thousands of Polish troops massacred by Russian forces in World War II.
Obama said those killed in the crash as "many of Poland's most distinguished civilian and military leaders who have helped to shape Poland's inspiring democratic transformation."
"Today, there are heavy hearts across America. The United States cherishes its deep and abiding bonds with the people of Poland," he said in a statement, adding that Americans "join all the people of Poland in mourning" those who died.
He hailed Kaczynski as "a distinguished statesman who played a key role in the Solidarity movement, and he was widely admired in the United States as a leader dedicated to advancing freedom and human dignity."

Obama: Omission of slaves' history 'unacceptable'


Down Under

Let's be honest here, this was a slap in the face to the President, and his First Lady her mother and children, who are descendants of slaves, and well he knew it.

Typical GOP Gutter Sleeze
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says Virginia's governor made "an unacceptable omission" when he proclaimed it Confederate History Month without mentioning slavery.
"I don't think you can understand the Confederacy and the Civil War unless you understand slavery," said Obama, the nation's first black president. First lady Michelle Obama is descended from a South Carolina slave.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell came under harsh criticism for issuing April's history month proclamation without any reference to slavery. The Republican governor at first defended his decree, saying it was intended to honor the Confederate sacrifice on Virginia soil and promote tourism. On Wednesday he apologized and added a paragraph condemning slavery, saying that leaving it out had been a "major omission."
Interviewed by ABC News on Thursday in Prague, Obama said the controversy was "a reminder that when we talk about issues like slavery that are so fraught with pain and emotion, that, you know, we'd better do so thinking through how this is going to affect a lot of people."

Massey Energy Bought Workers Comp Insurance Coverage Shortly Before Mine Explosion


"Mass Murderer in a 3-piece suit" Blankenship --- would like to read THAT newspaper headline.


Any claims they make should be denied on the basis of their preexisting mine conditions.

Source: After Downing Street

Massey Energy Bought Workers Comp Insurance Coverage Shortly Before Mine Explosion
Submitted by dlindorff on Fri, 2010-04-09 12:02.

By Dave Lindorff

Massey Energy Corp., owner of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia where at least 25 miners were killed April 5 in a methane gas explosion, apparently arranged for and purchased disability compensation insurance coverage only a month before the disaster, according to one source with inside knowledge about the company’s risk management operations.

Prior to that, the company, known for its aggressive challenges to workers’ comp claims, was self-insured for workers compensation.

But given the number of safety violations at its mines--there were 53 in March alone, 495 in 2009 and 1300 since 2005, at just the Upper Big Branch Mine and 2,074 over the past year at other mines owned by Massey across the Appalachian region--perhaps the money spent buying insurance to cover workers’ injury claims might have been better spent fixing chronic problems with methane gas build-ups in the mine. Then again, maybe the company felt that violation citations were no big deal--it has reportedly challenged two out of three instead of fixing them as a matter of course.

The company certainly has not shown particularly good judgement when it comes to its insurance decisions. Last year, despite noting in its annual report that its operations were “subject to certain events and conditions that could disrupt operations, including fires and explosions,” Massey Energy decided not to purchase business interruption insurance, according to Business Week magazine. With some analysts suggesting that the accident at the big West Virginia mine, where metalurgical coal used in the production of steel is extracted, could lead to a shutdown of that mine, and to a nearly 50% loss in overall corporate earnings this year, that decision could prove costly to Massey investors. The ratings agency Standard & Poors earlier this week placed the company, which already sports a junk-bond-level BB- credit rating, on watch for a downgrade, citing lost production, the “workers’ compensation liability and any impact potential lawsuits brought against the company may have.”

George W. Bush 'knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent

Source: Times Online

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN, is understood to have backed Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration. LinkHere

Stevens retirement triggers frenzy!!!!!

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Colbert: GOP trapped between a rock and a black face

It's only a matter of time before Beck's deception takes a tragic turn.

Exposing Glenn Beck as a Dangerous Fraud
So here goes. Beginning with this post, I intend to expose Glenn Beck as a fraud. A dangerous faker who deliberately manipulates his audience by appealing to their basest instincts. As a man who only embraces conservatism and the tea party movement as a means to furthering his significant personal wealth and career as a successful TV goon.
My theory is as follows. Glenn Beck is engaged in a carefully orchestrated performance that, if taken to its logical end, can only end up in tragedy -- a tragedy, not in the name of some great political or social or religious cause, as too many of his viewers might believe, but rather in the name of pure careerism and greed. A tragedy in the name of Glenn Beck's personal drive for fame and fortune, not to mention the similar motivations of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.
This week, Beck attacked the president's deceased mother and grandparents as being Marxists. Which other innocent bystanders will turn up on your commie hit list, Glenn? Who will you attack next with McCarthy-style abandon in the name of bilking your audience, Glenn? And do you honestly expect that your audience will remain passive observers of all of this?
And so I intend to expose Beck as the dangerous grifter he really is. He's committing a nationally televised fraud and, given the sorts of people who are the most susceptible to his trickery, it's only a matter of time before Beck's deception takes a tragic turn. LinkHere

Crazy like a Fox

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How will the Party of No Vote?

Stevens’ notice sets off a Supreme battle

With leader of liberal bloc stepping down, Obama says he'll seek a new justice "with a similar mind." Full story

Senator Coburn hypocrital Liar, Bravo Rachel you eviscerated him.


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Ned Lamont Brings Up Joe Lieberman In TV Ad For Connecticut Governor's Race

Ned Lamont, Democratic candidate for Connecticut governor, launched a new TV ad Thursday night which promotes his failed 2006 campaign to unseat Independent Senator Joe Lieberman.

The ad touts how Lamont "took on Joe Lieberman and George Bush." LinkHere

Amnesty International: U.S. Guilty Of Katrina-Related Human Rights Violations

How soon they forget!!!!!!!
Republican Leadership Conference 2010: No Mention Of Hurricane Katrina As GOP Meets In New Orleans
Five years after President Bush's failed response to a natural disaster in New Orleans deeply damaged his party's credibility and helped sweep them from power,...
Amnesty International: Hurricane Katrina Victims Had Human Rights Violated
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 people and caused widespread devastation after striking in August 2005, Amnesty International said Friday.
The report, entitled "Un-Natural Disaster," said the treatment of hurricane victims and government actions in housing, health care and policing have prevented poor minority communities from rebuilding and returning to their homes on the Gulf Coast.
In sum, government actions have amounted to human rights violations and "as a result, the demographics of the region are being permanently altered," the report said.
Amnesty took particular aim at New Orleans, where public housing was bulldozed, hospitals have been slow to reopen and the criminal justice system has been plagued by police brutality, lengthy pretrial detentions and an underfunded indigent defense system.
"You have the demolition of most of the public housing units in New Orleans without a one-for-one replacement as well as a lack of rebuilding affordable rental housing," said Justin Mazzola, an Amnesty researcher. "Orleans Parish Prison is now the largest mental health psych facility in the city of New Orleans."
Moira Mack, a White House spokeswoman, said the Obama administration had cut through the red tape that delayed assistance and improved coordination among agencies that often failed to collaborate in the years after the storms. She said the administration's actions freed $2.4 billion in rebuilding money that had stalled for years.
Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bobby Jindal's Louisiana Recovery Authority, said Louisiana had worked "diligently since the hurricanes to rebuild housing, restore critical infrastructure – including schools and health care facilities – and protect our citizens from future harm."
New Orleans' former public housing was being replaced with new mixed-income communities, she said. She said $1.2 billion has been set aside for rental housing.
Staff for New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin did not return a message seeking comment. LinkHere
Attn. Republicans in New Orleans: Do You Know Where You Are?
John McQuaid
An all-star lineup of GOP pols has gathered in New Orleans for the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. But do they have any idea where they are?
Here's what J.C. Watts told the conference-goers:
"Some might think that George W. Bush had his shortcomings," said Watts, "but let me tell you something -- history's going to be kind to George W. Bush."Just up the street from the GOP's venue at the Hilton Riverside is the New Orleans Convention Center, where tens of thousands of people gathered in the days after Hurricane Katrina and waited in stifling heat without food or water for rescuers who didn't know they were there (even though the flood victims were on TV). That was probably the low point in a catastrophic breakdown of government capacities at all levels -- local, state, and federal. But the biggest single failure was at the top: George W. Bush was the one man who would have cut through it all. But he was oddly disengaged for the balance of that terrible week. Some of it wasn't his fault. The New Orleans hurricane levee system had never been a national priority, so it's hard to lay their flawed designs on the Bush White House. But the Bush administration made an organizational hash of FEMA and Homeland Security, and, populating offices throughout the federal government with Mike Brown and other political hacks, degraded its capacity to act.
So no, I doubt that history is going to vindicate Bush on this particular point. No amount of retrospective scrubbing can erase the image of that week or the remaining empty stretches of cityscape. It would be helpful -- to them and to the nation -- if the Republican Party acknowledged the reality around them in New Orleans, a city that is coming alive five years after Katrina but still in great peril from hurricanes. The combination of bottom-up civic activity (in the face of fumbling bureaucracies) is something both parties can learn from and put to use. And the challenge of protecting the city -- a partnership between government at all levels and private industry -- is ongoing, and a good template for future challenges in a time of unpleasant environmental surprises. LinkHere
View photographs comparing scenes during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina with recent photographs of the same locations.

The Dallas Morning News
Capturing catastrophe
MSNBC.com presents the Dallas Morning News’ Pulitzer Prize-winning photography of Hurricane Katrina, along with audio of the photographers’ descriptions of the images.
Aug. 29: NBC's Carl Quintanilla reports on the money raised, spent and even wasted in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

Ramsey Clark chosen to head commission to investigate Bush crimes

Ramsey Clark tells crowd of 10,000:
We must indict Bush and Cheney
Media coverage brings call for indictment to the fore
On April 3, at a meeting of over 150 lawyers, legal scholars and human rights campaigners, Ramsey Clark, founder of Indict Bush Now, was chosen to be the chairperson of an international campaign to investigate war crimes committed by officials from the Bush administration.
Representatives at the meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon, came from all over the world. The campaign will investigate the lies, deceit and manipulation leading up to the Iraq war; the conduct of the war itself against an essentially defenseless country; and the horrors of the continued occupation.
Lawyers and judges in several countries are exploring prosecution.
Ramsey Clark emphasized that it is the imperative responsibility of the American people to relentlessly pursue this investigation, and to seek prosecution and indictment inside of the United States.
The culture of criminal conduct started at the top in the White House itself and seeped far down the chain of command. The White House is responsible for these crimes—from the hideous torture scenes at Abu Ghraib prison to the shockingly grotesque, cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians by U.S. helicopter pilots in Baghdad in 2007, as shown in a video released this week.
The chilling video came to light because two of the killed Iraqis happened to be Reuters journalists, and because of the heroic effort of a whistleblower inside the Pentagon who leaked the video posted by WikiLeaks. The Pentagon undoubtedly has hundreds or thousands of similar videos that are kept under lock and key.
Prosecuting only a few low-level people would be a calculated effort to deflect away from those in high places who are ultimately responsible.
Ramsey Clark made the point that all the war crimes and crimes against humanity flow from the commission of the most supreme crimes which he identified as the Crimes against Peace. This was the finding at the Nuremberg trial, and it is enshrined in the Nuremberg Principles.

Stewart Rips Fox News For Inaccurate Reporting On Nuclear Arms Treaty (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart took on one of his favorite targets last night, mocking Fox News for blatant inaccuracies in their coverage of Obama's nuclear arms treaty with Russia. As he pointed out, the treaty in question has many stipulations, notably that it does not eliminate all nuclear weapons (just reduces by a third) and does not render us defenseless, as adjustments can be made that would allow the U.S. to retaliate if necessary.

But of course those details may have slipped past the folks at Fox News, who appeared to have a "willful misunderstanding of the policy," as they blathered on and on about how Obama was leaving us defenseless. Stewart he even compared the "purposeful idiocy" of Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity to "Beavis and Butthead."

On top of that, Stewart did the unthinkable: shattered the infallible image of Ronald Reagan, a fan favorite among the Fox News crowd. Well played, Jon. Well played. LinkHere

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Thursday, April 08, 2010


A former New Orleans police officer has given authorities a shocking account of the killing by police of two unarmed civilians and the wounding of four others on Danziger Bridge in post-Katrina New Orleans.
The account of the September 2005 incident by former Officer Michael Hunter, 33, who pleaded guilty yesterday to charges associated with the coverup of the shootings, is contained in a court filing that you can read in full below.

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Just Angry

Larry North, a guy from East Texas, was angry at the government, say federal prosecutors. And that's what drove him to leave 36 explosive devices, including pipe bombs, in post office boxes in 23 separate locations.
--Josh Marshall

Confederate History nothing to celebrate.

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VA Doesn't Stand Alone On Confederate History Month

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) took so much flak this week for declaring April 'Confederate History Month,' without mentioning slavery, that he eventually had to apologize and add an extra clause to his proclamation declaring that slavery was evil and led to the Civil War. But McDonnell is certainly not alone.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Revelations on long history of arrogance expose a persona loyal only to John Ensign

Even in the world of politics, where the mirror is everyone’s favorite accessory, examples of Ensign’s selfishness and arrogance are legion.
“Narcissism would be the best word,” a Republican insider said.
“The power changes everything,” another former associate said.
Given all that has since come to light, the person was incredulous describing Ensign’s behavior in early 2009.

Bank Bailout making profit for taxpayers, darn I thought the bailout was reportedly an abject failure.

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Taking human life out of the cost of coal mining

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Faux Acorn Edited, Whos's next on their list?

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Blanket, Celebratory Coverage,

April 08, 2009 3:58 pm ET
SUMMARY: Despite its repeated insistence that its coverage is "fair and balanced" and its invitation to viewers to "say 'no' to biased media," Fox News has frequently aired segments encouraging viewers to get involved with "tea party" protests across the country, which the channel has described as primarily a response to President Obama's fiscal policies. Media Matters has compiled an analysis of Fox News' promotion of these events.

As ThinkProgress and others have documented, for over a year now, Fox News has promoted and celebrated the anti-Obama Tea Party movement. But at a forum for the public affairs TV series, The Kalb Report, last night, Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Fox’s parent company, said that the network should not be “supporting” the movement:
The mogul was peppered with a host of questions related to his media empire’s political leanings, and in each case fought the perception that he’s made his fortune by catering to the conservative audience. Asked by an official at the progressive watchdog group, Media Matters, whether it was ethical for officials at Fox to promote the Tea Party movement (as has been documented on some occasion) he replied without hesitation.
“No. I don’t think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party. But I’d like to investigate what you are saying before condemning anyone.”
If Murdoch does “investigate” Fox’s support of the Tea Party, he will not only find that network has given the conservative protests blanket, celebratory coverage, but has even branded some of them as being “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties“: LinkHere

Mark Twain's "A lie gets half-way around the world before truth puts on its boots."

Does Limbaugh Matter?
It's Elmer Gantry denouncing sin for Screed Radio to complain about Obama's "character assassination" and opposition to the "majority." Obama's 53 percent election is more than Limbaugh's 3 percent of a radio audience. Should we even bother to answer folks who love America yet hate democracy? Probably.

The dirty secret of the Music Men of talk is that doing well electronically is different than electorally. Limbaugh and Beck surely succeed by the metrics of the media, where a 3 share is a big win. But 3 percent of the vote is not so hot.
Limbaugh recently expressed shock, shock that Obama would criticize him for "vitriol." He countered that the President didn't represent the majority of Americans. Rush does? Let's look at the numbers:
Limbaugh's favorables in numerous polls over time are about 25 percent and his negatives over 50%.
Bush ended his presidency with a 26 percent favorable rating, half of Obama's approximately 50% today.
Obama won the largest majority of the popular vote of any Democrat for President this past century other than Johnson in '68 and FDR.
Democrats control 56 percent and 60 percent of House and of Senate seats respectively -- hence passage of health care. LinkHere

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Afghan pres. said he might join Taliban; UN envoy suspects Karzai on drugs.

While Americans count pennies, Exxon pays zero income taxes

ExxonMobil Facility In Baton Rouge. Image via Wikipedia
ExxonMobil 'paid no income tax in '09'

World's biggest company paid most taxes last year but 'none went to IRS.' LinkHere

Charles Alan Wilson Charged With Threatening Sen. Patty Murray's Life

I can hear his defense now
"Fox made me do it"

SEATTLE — A Washington state man has been charged with threatening to kill Democratic Sen. Patty Murray over her support for health care reform, leaving voicemail messages at her office saying she had a target on her back and "it only takes one piece of lead."
Federal agents arrested Charles Alan Wilson without incident in Yakima, Wash., on Tuesday.
Murray's office in Seattle reported the threats amid a rash of ugliness aimed at lawmakers who supported the sweeping federal health care legislation. Some lawmakers have been spit on and several have reported receiving threatening calls.
FBI spokesman Bill Carter said Wilson is believed to be the first person in the country arrested for such threats.
The messages to Murray were left on voicemail from a blocked telephone number, FBI Special Agent Carolyn W. Woodbury wrote in a probable cause statement. Agents said they traced the calls to Wilson's home in Selah, near Yakima.
Wilson has a .38-caliber revolver registered to him and has a concealed carry permit for it, Woodbury wrote.
To confirm Wilson was the caller, one agent telephoned him and posed as a member of a group working to repeal the health care legislation, the statement said.
According to a excerpt of the conversation, Wilson confirmed he repeatedly called Murray as well as Washington's other Democratic senator, Maria Cantwell. He then stated: "I do pack, and I will not blink when I'm confronted. ... It's not a threat, it's a guarantee." LinkHere

Monday, April 05, 2010

FLASHBACK: McCain Said Of Himself And Palin, ‘What Do You Expect Of Two Mavericks?’

MCCAIN: You may figure out from time-to-time, Sarah and I don’t agree on every issue. What do you expect of two mavericks? Heh?
During the 2008 presidential primary, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) secured the GOP nomination by compiling an impressive list of at least 44 various flip-flops on previously stated positions. But now that he is facing a serious challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) in the Arizona Senate primary, McCain is again veering to the far right to solidify his political future. In his fight to recreate himself to Arizona voters, he’s even erasing the self-appointed title he once campaigned on.
In the next edition of the magazine, Newsweeks’ David Margolick reports that McCain no longer calls himself a “maverick.” In fact, McCain told Margolick that he has “never considered myself a maverick.” It’s an odd claim to make, especially considering the fact McCain cut an ad calling the McCain-Palin ticket a team of “original mavericks,” told voters he is the “maverick” of the Senate, and appeared in a Saturday Night Live sketch where he spoofed his own obsession with being called a maverick. During the campaign, he would routinely call himself a maverick as part of his stump speech: LinkHere

Ahahahahahah, don't you love it, God I hope the wankers get their wish

GOPer's, Tea Partiers and Tinfoil hats. Don't be fooled by Karl. He was taken to a FEMA camp last week for reprogramming. He is promoting the progressive, socialist agenda. Whatever you do, do not complete the cenus form (especially if you live MN 6th district or anywhere in Texas).
For the past year, the right has overindulged itself in all sorts of crazy fearmongering over the 2010 census. From fears that President Barack Obama's appointee to run the census, Robert M. Groves, might use statistical sampling to nefariously ensure a more accurate count of poor people, to darkly warning that ACORN would be entirely in charge of conducting it, we've heard it all.
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), was famously allowed to use her celebrity and her ability to rile up the paranoid to inveigh against the 2010 count. At times, she's vowed to flout the law and not participate, encouraging others to do the same. She's stoked the same bonkers fears over ACORN, as well. She's also darkly alluded to internment camps, because why not?
BACHMANN: If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that's how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I'm not saying that's what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up.
Well, that was all a lot of fun back in the heady days of 2009 when it was important to get angry people out in public as often as possible to draw Hitler mustaches on health care reform. But now that the census is being conducted, there's a worry that people might actually take all this craziness seriously, so Republicans are frantically trying to put their bipolar census anger-genie back into the bottle. As including Bachmann's.

Still, the anti-census talk is apparently so bad now that even Karl Rove has gotten into the "Seriously, please fill out the census, pretty please" act:

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Gearing Up For Midterms

GOP Heavyweights Raise $30M For New 527 Group
Some of the biggest names in the GOP are organizing an outside group to help Republicans win in the 2010 midterms -- and donors have already pledged a whopping $30 million for the new project. LinkHere

"Compassionate conservatives" party of "family values" you think?

Alan Grayson Faces the Limbaugh Onslaught ... Again

If Boss Limbaugh attacks u, then u know that ur doing something right.
Limbaugh was still smarting from Alan Grayson (D-FL) pointing out at DownWithTyranny last January that ole Rush was more lucid when he was still taking hillbilly heroin than he's been lately. "Rush Limbaugh is a has-been hypocrite loser, who craves attention. His right-wing lunacy sounds like Mikhail Gorbachev, extolling the virtues of communism. Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict. If America ever did 1% of what he wanted us to do, then we'd all need pain killers." So it came as no surprise to anyone when Limbaugh launched into another childish tirade against Congressman Grayson, the member of Congress the extreme right fears most.
On his Hate Talk Radio show Friday Limbaugh started babbling that the congressman who represents Orlando, home of Disney World, is "loony tunes," mixing up his media conglomerates, and claiming that he's an order of fries short of a happy meal." Grayson, laughing, pointed out that the binge-eating and drug addled Limbaugh's life is "like a 5-alarm fire and all his money doesn't make it any better." Limbaugh huddles in his $27 million mansion, broadcasts from his basement and never ventures out unless it's to hunt for underage boy prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. He sends his servants out to score his drugs and bring back food. "He's one pizza short of exploding," chortled Grayson yesterday. "If there is anyone who knows about Happy Meals, it's Rush Limbaugh. He certainly has consumed a lot of them. He likes them with an oxycontin chaser."
Limbaugh has refused to answer any questions from media asking him when he's moving his operation to Costa Rica or if rumors are true that the Costa Rican government, in an attempt to preserve the morals of the country, has indicated that he won't be welcome there.
Humor aside, it's important to realize that corporate special interests whose predatory goals are served by the faux populism of highly-paid shills like Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity, want nothing as much as shutting Alan Grayson up. He's been as much a thorn in their sides as he's been a beacon of light for ordinary Americans looking for a champion inside the confines of a dysfunctional and self-serving political system. So... Blue America wants to remind everybody about a very special page, Getting Grayson' Back. So far 934 people have chipped in to help Alan get his message out to his constituents. We've raised just over $35,000 of the $50,000 goal we set for ourselves. If you can, please lend a hand. And, for your entertainment and elucidation, here's how we first became aware of Alan Grayson: LinkHere

Not Just Guantanamo: U.S. Torturing Muslim Pre-trial Detainee in New York City

Once accused of connections with terrorism or al Qaeda, apparently, the U.S. constitution and international human rights apparently do not apply. Torture by the U.S. is allowed. Pre-trial punishment is allowed. The presumption of innocence goes out the window. Counsel of choice is not allowed. Communication with news media not allowed.

By Bill Quigley
April 03, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- Today in New York City, the U.S. is torturing a Muslim detainee with no prior criminal record who has not even gone to trial.

For the last almost three years, Syed Fahad Hashmi has been kept in total pre-trial isolation inside in a small cell under 24 hour video and audio surveillance. He is forced to use the bathroom and shower in full view of the video. He has not seen the sun in years. He takes his meals alone in his cell. He cannot see any other detainees and he is not allowed to communicate in any way with any prisoners. He cannot write letters to friends and he cannot make calls to anyone but his lawyer. He is prohibited from participating in group prayer. He gets newspapers that are 30 days old with sections cut out by the government. One hour a day he is taken into another confined room where he is also kept in total isolation.

Children are taught that the U.S. Constitution protects people accused of crimes. No one is to be punished unless their guilt or innocence has been decided in a fair trial. Until trial, people are entitled to the presumption of innocence. They are entitled to be defended by an attorney of their choice. And the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

The punishment of Mr. Hashmi has been going on for years while he has been waiting for trial. In addition to the punitive isolation he is subjected to today, he was denied the attorney of his choice. He was allowed only counsel investigated and pre-approved by the government. He is not allowed to look at any translated documents unless the translator is pre-approved by the government. He is not allowed any contact with the media at all. One member of his family can visit through the heavy screen for one hour every other week unless the government takes away those visits to further punish him. The government took away his family visits for 90 days when he was observed shadow boxing in his cell and talked back to the guard who asked what he was doing. LinkHere

The trial of Syed Fahad Hashmi is set for April 28, 2010 in New York. Till then he will continue to be tortured by the U.S. government whose star spangled banner proclaims it to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Syed Mehmood Ahmed Hashmi (born 1980) is a Pakistani American and US Citizen. He was arrested in London, England on June 6, 2006 based on an indictment from the United States charging him with providing material support to Al-Qaeda.

Hashmi was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1980. Upon birth he was also given the name Fahad and that is how most people know him. He emigrated with his family to the United States when he was three years old. His family settled in Flushing, New York where he was raised and attended school.

He graduated from Robert F Wagner High School in 1998 and then attended SUNY Stony Brook. He eventually transferred to Brooklyn College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2003. A devout Muslim, through the years he established a reputation as an activist. In 2003 he enrolled at London Metropolitan University in England to pursue a master's degree in International relations which he received in 2006.

On June 6, 2006 he was arrested at Heathrow Airport based on an indictment from an American federal grand jury. The charges were of conspiring to send money and military gear to al Qaeda associates who lived in Pakistan. Hashmi's lawyer found out that the items being labeled as "military gear" were socks and rainproof ponchos.

His arrest is based on the testimony of Junaid Babar, an informant attempting to get a reduction in his own 70-year prison sentence. Junaid had stayed for a short while in Hashmi's apartment in London.

He was housed as a Category A, high security, prisoner at HM Prison Belmarsh while fighting extradition to the United States. In March 2007, the High Court of England and Wales ruled against him. He was then extradited to the United States in May 2007 and arraigned before District Judge Loretta A. Preska. Since he was extradited to the United States, he has been held in solitary confinement in the Special Housing Unit at Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan, with no trial.

China's Documentation Of US Human Rights Abuses

By Stephen Lendman 4-3-10

On March 11, the US State Department issued its "2009 Human Rights Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," calling the People's Republic of China (PRC) "an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutionally is the paramount source of power," practicing: Link Here

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